How To Get Rid Of The Smell Of Cat Urine

By Cuteness Team

Cat urine has an extremely powerful, persistent and unpleasant odor. When cats urinate on carpets, rugs or furniture it can be very difficult to get rid of that offensive cat urine smell. You need to remove the odor and urine stain completely because cats will usually urinate in the same spot again. You can use a commercial cat odor and stain remover to clean your carpet or make your own effective homemade cleaning solutions that will get rid of cat urine smell.

Young cat use the toilet
credit: EvgeniyaTiplyashina/iStock/GettyImages

Because cat urine contains proteins, the smell is much stronger and requires cleaners that can break down and remove them. The presence of ammonia in the urine also contributes to the smell, so you should avoid using ammonia-based cleaners found in most over-the-counter products. If you don't care to buy the special cleaners equipped with enzymes to eliminate proteins, you can use a few household products to sufficiently remove cat urine odors.

Here is a helpful list of step-by-step instructions for removing cat urine from furniture, carpets, and rugs.

Step 1

Locate the cat urine stain and smell before cleaning the affected areas. It is easy to spot fresh urine stains, especially on carpets, but it might be difficult when the urine dries. For dried urine, use a black light to find these stains (see tip below).

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Image: Roman Rozenblyum

Step 2

Remove a fresh stain as quickly as possible. For carpeted areas, place some paper towels over the urine and BLOT by pressing down so that the urine is absorbed by the towel. Do NOT RUB the stain because it will only make the stain larger and work the urine into the fibers, making it more difficult to remove. Repeat the process of blotting the urine with towels to absorb it.

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Image: Roman Rozenblyum

Step 3

Combine equal parts solution of water and vinegar in a bowl. Pour a sufficient amount of the mixture onto the carpet and allow it to penetrate the carpet fibers. Use paper towels to absorb the excess mixture. Alternatively, you can utilize a wet vacuum for this. Allow the affected carpet area to dry completely. White vinegar eliminates both cat urine stain and odor. That's because acids neutralize basic chemicals such as ammonia, the main offender in cat urine.

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Image: Roman Rozenblyum

Step 4

Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda, an effective odor neutralizer, on the carpet area. Mix a half cup of hydrogen peroxide with 2 tsps. of liquid detergent in a bowl. The hydrogen peroxide kills the bacteria that contributes to the urine smell. If you don't have hydrogen peroxide, laundry stain removers with "oxy" power are a good substitute. Pour this solution over the affected area. Let the mixture dissolve in the baking soda.

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Image: Roman Rozenblyum

Step 5

Take the scrub brush and work the mixture into the stain. Wear the gloves while scrubbing the area.

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Image: Roman Rozenblyum

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Image: Roman Rozenblyum

Allow the area to dry thoroughly before removing any dried baking soda and mixture with a vacuum.

Removing Cat Urine from Hardwood, Cement or Tile

To clean cat urine from hardwood floors, granite, or tile, be sure to use a cleaner that will not stain or damage these surfaces. For example, after cleaning up the puddle, test your cleaning solution on a small, hidden area to make sure there is no negative reaction. The last thing you want is to clean up cat urine and leave an unsightly stain! There are many products specifically marketed for removing pet smells and stains for various surfaces, or a homemade mixture will work. The main difference is to make sure you reseal your wood floor (or cement surface) after you have finished cleaning to protect the floor and prevent a re-occurrence. You may have to repeat this process to fully remove the stains.

Natural Cleaning Products and Deterrents

While store bought cleaning supplies do work, they may be harsh. If you are looking for natural cleaning options, consider vinegar and lemon mixed with water, using baking soda to help remove odor, or even scents like citrus or eucalyptus, or other scents cats hate to dissuade the cat from going in the same place.

Locate Stains With a Blacklight

Blacklights allow you to spot urine stains not visible to the naked eye. Darken the room completely, then shine the blacklight over the spot where you believe the urine stain to be. The stain will visibly glow. Outline the soiled area in chalk, as the Humane Society recommends. This will help you spot them again after you turn the lights on again.

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Image: Renee Althouse